In the past year alone, we’ve featured over 300 different Stouts on Tavour. Some were decadent, dessert-like treats, while others shined with silky complexity from aging in Bourbon barrels.
As the curtain closes on 2020, we’re taking a look back at the 5 Stouts that Tavour members ranked the highest. We hope you remember them fondly:
5: Weekend - Prairie Artisan Ales - Tulsa, OK
Prairie Artisan Ales is often credited as THE brewery that brought the Pastry Stout style to the world. In fact, it’s largely the reason why VinePair called them one of the Most Important Breweries of the Decade.
It’s probably also why Tavour members jumped at the chance to get their hands on Prairie’s praise-worthy Weekend Stout. That, and the fact that Prairie brewed this decadent beast with coconut, cacao nibs, and HEAPS of marshmallows!
There’s no denying that Prairie knows how to make oozy marshmallows stand out in a Pastry Stout like this. One sip of Weekend was all it took to see that clearly — it was insanely smooth, with a subdued, chocolatey roastiness to balance out the richness of those creamy white puffs. Every sip was like a mouthful of fudgy marshmallow brownies!
4: Gates of S’mordor (Booker's Bourbon Barrel Aged) (2020) - Westbrook Brewing Company - Mt. Pleasant, SC
Early in the year, Westbrook released their Lord of the Rings-inspired Gates of S’mordor Dessert Stout, and Tavour members bought it up quicker than any other Dark Beer at the time.
But, this Booker's Bourbon Barrel Aged version blew it out of the water. Every last drop was gone in less than 48 hours!
This decadent campfire treat had all the chewy, gooey, marshmallow flavor squished between melted Ghirardelli's dark chocolate and honey-kissed graham crackers of the original. Only this time, Westbrook — A.K.A., the top-rated brewery in South Carolina — amped it up with oaky vanilla-caramel character evoked from the Bourbon Barrels.
Whether our members consider themselves Stout Orcs or Dark Beer dorks, this boozy bourbon s’mores Stout was definitely worthy of being called their “precious.”
3: Demons Surround Me - Adroit Thoery Brewing Company - Purcellville, VA
We were baffled back in January when Adroit Theory said this was the biggest Stout they’ve ever brewed. Those Dark Beer masters craft some of the booziest, most complex Stouts ever to shock our palates, and then they made something EVEN BIGGER?
Our members would agree that they weren’t foolin’ around — at an 18% ABV, this Russian Imperial Stout was HUGE!
Demons Surround Me poured an enormously thick, almost-black mahogany. Each mouthful coated the palate in a blowout of dark chocolate, bold molasses, and deeper layers of nuttiness. It didn’t simply drip with decadence — it overflowed with it.
For all its complexity, this RIS was monstrously smooth, too. Touches of medium bitterness kept it from being boozy beer syrup and, instead, gave way to a plush evening sipper. It made us wanna cancel any plans, change into comfy clothes and just kick back in peace with one of the biggest beers ever to hit our tongues.
2: Beer Geek Vanilla Shake Barrel-Aged Bourbon - Mikkeller Brewing - San Diego, CA
Some members may have been lucky enough to taste the original Beer Geek Vanilla Shake Imperial Stout when we first snagged it, so they already knew how indulgent its coffee and vanilla-brewed depths are.
But, man oh man, did Mikkeller propel the velvety sipper into richer depths with this 8-month Bourbon Barrel-Aged rendition.
Amped-up with oak and whiskey spice, this version was boozier and more layered than its predecessor. Roasty, dark chocolate and silky vanilla greeted the palate upfront, fading seamlessly into smoldering espresso and caramel. A dose of lactose kept the brew from succumbing fully to the roastiness, and that 13.4% ABV sipped down almost too smoothly.
No wonder Tavour members rated this one so highly!
1: Blessed - Anchorage Brewing Company - Anchorage, AK
If you were #blessed enough to snag a bottle of this Barrel Aged Stout blend from Anchorage, you know why it’s at the #1 spot. It was arguably Tavour’s most hyped beer drop this year!
To craft the highly anticipated sipper, Anchorage started with 1- and 3-year-old Stouts aged in Woodford Reserve Double Oaked and Willett Bourbon Barrels. Then, they added toasted and raw coconut and Madagascar vanilla beans, and blended everything together in Missouri Oak Foeders.
It poured as thick as chocolate syrup and gushed with aromas of fresh fudge drizzled in bourbon caramel sauce. Each sip was like indulging in a fluffy slice of German chocolate cake, topped with coconut whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon! And, at 14% ABV, it was like getting wrapped in a warm hug from start to finish!
The year may be just about over, but we are far from finished bringing you the best Stouts we can find. Keep checking the Tavour app for more top-ranking craft Stouts to come!